NEIL ARDLEY’S Notts County great escape is up and running as the Magpies relegation fears were handed a significant lifeline as they gleaned a shock 2-1 victory at promotion-chasing Forest Green.

County, scrapping for their Football League future, scored the goal their dominance deserved on 57 minutes. Mitch Rose’s torpedo throw was headed clear by Rovers ‘captain Gavin Gunning, but the ball dropped and the feet of Jim O’Brien who wrapped his foot around the ball to beat Ward from just inside the box.

Rovers were back in contest just six minutes later. County keeper Ryan Schofield was booked after punching the ball outside the box and Joseph Mills took the opportunity to fizz home the subsequent free-kick from the edge of the box.

The Magpies picked Rovers off with a sublime moment from Enzio Boldewijn – cutting in from the left the County man unleashed a right-footed howitzer to beat the flying Ward all ends up on 77 minutes.

Ardley felt his side kept their momentum going after drawing at league leaders Lincoln City last time out.

He said: “It was important after playing so well against Lincoln that we tried to keep momentum,” he said.

“I said to the players whatever happens we come away two games unbeaten and that was the aim.

“We could have scored five or six with some great flowing moves and Virgil (Gomis) could have had a hat-trick.

“We knew we could come under pressure. They’ve been playing 3-5-2 and maybe a diamond and I just said that if we do the homework and you carry out the game plan, it’s a good combination.

“Just do what the team needs and they did it to the letter today.

“It’s only two games but we have threats going forward. It was a brave starting line-up with three forwards and a winger on the pitch away from home against a team that likes to dominate with the ball.

“We knew it would be a risk, but the attacking players were motivated to their defensive jobs and Enzio (Boldewijn) has conjured up a bit of magic.

“That’s important because even if they score, you still feel you’ve got two or three more chances in you.”